The Tale of Cindy and Briana
As mentioned earlier, the three of us were split up among Judy and Melecio on Saturday to cover more Centros de Salud and visit more patients throughout Pachacutec. Cindy and I teamed up with Melecio and made a trip out to Centro de Salud Ciudad Pachacutec.
Here, the head nurse of the TB unit of the center informed us about an MDR TB patient, Marcos, who had abandoned his treatment regimen. After talking with the nurse for a few moments, Melecio acquired his address, and on bumpy ATV ride we made the short trek out to the patient’s house .
When we reached the house of Marcos we soon learned from his wife, Ana, that he was away on a trip for work. They lived in a small, poorly lit house with only two indoor rooms and one bed. While Marcos and Ana shared a room, their two sons of 4 and 2 1/2 years old slept on small chairs outside of the bedroom. After observing their sleeping conditions, Melecio emphasized the problem it caused with the prevention of the spread of TB to other family members of the household. Sleeping in a small, shared, poorly ventilated room offered no separation for the TB infected person of the household, so receiving a modular housing unit for Marcos was of utter importance. However, the catch was that Marcos had to return to a regular treatment schedule in order to receive the housing unit, as well as a nutritional food basket, and protect his family.
Marcos had abandoned his treatment due to adverse side effects from the pills and because of his job. Without being home regularly, it became difficult to attend the health center for treatment. Despite this, Melecio stressed the importance of continuing with the treatment plan and gave Ana ASPAT’s number for future reference. Unfortunately, Ana and Marcos didn’t have a working phone or any other means of direct communication, so getting in touch with this family might turn out to be slightly difficult in the future. But, even though we hit this small obstacle, Melecio wouldn’t let that prevent us from helping Marcos. He suggested the idea of contacting ASPAT through the doctors and the nearby health center. Although this seems slightly inconvenient and improbable given the fact that Marcos currently cannot make it to the health center even for his treatment, I’m hoping that our visit with Ana and ASPAT’s future visit with Marcos will change their attitudes.